To give your audience the best and most cinematic movie-viewing experience, play your finished iMovie production on a TV (from a DVD, on tape, or streamed to an Apple TV); or show it at high resolution on a big computer screen. That way, your public gets to see the full-sized picture that your camcorder captured. (iMovie ’11 can’t play a movie from tape or export your finished project to tape for archiving and viewing—but iMovie 6 can. See Chapter 12 for details.)
But when you want to distribute your movies, you should convert them to QuickTime files. Both Mac and Windows machines can play QuickTime movies with little more than a double-click, and your options for creating QuickTime files are far greater than those when you save movies to videocassette or DVD. You can email a QuickTime file to somebody or post it on the Web for all the world to see (Chapter 14). You can put bigger QuickTime files onto a disk, like a recordable CD, DVD, external hard drive, or an iPod, to transport them. And you can export only the audio portion of your movie—or only the video portion.
This chapter covers all these techniques, step by step.
When a computer plays back video, it displays hundreds or thousands of still images in rapid succession. If you’ve ever worked with color images, you know how storage-hungry they are. A full-screen photograph might occupy 5 MB or 10 MB of space on your hard drive, for example, and take several seconds to ...